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Diving Station



Brighton based quartet THYLA brought their beautifully raw post-punk to YES for an evening of spectacular sub-genre talent school standoffs with a tonne of musicians who are taking the scene by storm. 

If a Saturday evening features a psychedelic, cosmic disco pop mash-up with a hint of harmonious harp playing and some seriously ferocious girl power grunge, you know you’re possibly attending the hottest breakthrough gig in Manchester to energise yet another bleak day in February. YES’ packed out bottom floor basement is the ideal set up for this DIY, delightful display of emerging talent. 

Velvet Shakes are first on, the lead singer dressed in a shirt laden with love hearts because after all “it is the month of love” as mentioned by the band who seem as love-struck with each other as they are with their melodic, 2010 foals-esque music. The band retain their tightness in their live set and bass led dance tracks including ‘The Love I Feel’, that are fully doused in that distinctly nostalgic disco sound, make sure the crowd are pleasantly warmed for the bands about to follow. 

Next, Diving Station join the party, bringing the music equivalent of a classic bottle of Merlot, the kind you get that wears a fishnet and is left with the perfect pink lip stain around the rim.  A suitably suave set up as vocalist Anna McLuckie takes to the stage armed with a Clarsach Harp and an even more stunning set of vocals. Think Wolf Alice circa White Leather, collaborating with The XX in the dreamy days of electro-pop hits such as VCR. Their music makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room, completely transfixed and emotionally engaged with their hypnotic dream pop.

Headliners THYLA brought something a little different to the table, or party if you like. A bottle of vodka and 20 cigarettes kind of band. Ferocious, angsty post-punk that’s delivered so innocently by leading lady Millie Duthie. They’re the kind of band who would’ve slotted perfectly into place in the thriving Brighton scene of 2013. A homage to their hometown but undiscovered gems to those unlucky ones who aren’t in attendance tonight. Tracks like Only Ever rip through the packed out basement, the rawness of the guitar combined with Millie’s euphoric vocals pierce the percussion and scatter the band into a flurry of headbanging bliss.

Grungey undertones that mirror early Hole are prominent in I Was Biting and during this dynamic display, it’s obvious that the band are having as much fun up there as the day that they first jammed together. The glittering, hazy guitar sound proves to be the most fitting match for Millie’s honest vocals and their live performance is met with a packed out crowd that responds to every song with an enthusiastic eagerness for more. 

THYLA are an effortlessly cool band, with each member sporting a straight bob-like hair trim that was cut straight out of the music video for Sonic Youth’s Dirty Boots. The band’s stripped back song Candy brings the quartet into an emotional display of pissed off post-punk poetry and the band still have the crowd in the palm of their hand as they swing straight into Sharon.

Ending the set is Blue, a track that is met with a serious hair swing by each member of the band and audience alike. It’s a track that has a bass line to make you boogie and lyrics that bare all. The quartet are evidently slightly overwhelmed by the response from the crowd but even though modest, clearly believe they deserve every whoop and cheer that rounds off a Saturday evening in February good enough to pull even the best of us out of our S.A.D. 

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The harp-driven machine that is dream pop band Diving Station takes influence from the likes of Big Thief and Dirty Projectors. They are known to captivate and engage audiences with their distinctive sound, achieved through the unique combination of singer Anna McLuckie‘s nuanced delivery and Sean Rogan’s sprawling guitar melodies. This is integrated with a driving yet melodic rhythm section and the accompaniment of secondary vocals.

Since forming in 2014 Diving Station have performed across the UK supporting bands such as Indian Queens, Clock Opera, and Meursault. They have appeared on festival lineups at Bluedot Festival and Head For The Hills as well as selling out several headline shows in Manchester. Diving Station released their first EP, ‘Alice’, in January 2017. The single ‘Plastic People’ has been played on Bob Harris’ show on BBC 2 and Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC 6 Music to name a few.

George –

The Orielles – Let Your Dogtooth Grow:

‘Last year I was lucky enough to see the band play this track live in session for Marc Riley and they were fantastic. The memorable hooks and slinky bass always stick out to me.’

Julia Holter – I Shall Love 2:

Julia Holter is one of my favourite songwriters. This track is beautifully arranged and the way the instruments and Julia’s voice build in the second half is mesmerising.’

Barnabas – 

Westerman – Outside Sublime:

‘When we played at Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds we were featured on BBC Radio Leeds and this lovely song came on after ours. Been a fan ever since.’

Grizzly Bear – Three Rings

‘The drums on the track are so interesting. The way the drum loop sits with the acoustic kit playing all sorts over the top, mmmm.’

Anna – 

Fleet Foxes – Third of May/Ōdaigahara:

‘I found myself finding it hard to get lost in the music for a while, and Fleet Foxes helped me break through that.’

Joanna Newsom – Sadie (track not on Spotify):

‘She blows my mind, I could read the lyrics of this song every day and find something new.’

Sean –

James Blake – Don’t Miss It:

‘There’s nothing I don’t love about this song. The sounds, the lyrics, the simplicity. It’s all so subtle yet sits together just perfectly.’

Sharon Van Etten – Seventeen:

‘I’ve been waiting so long for Sharon Van Etten to release some new music, as have many others, and all I can say is it was worth the wait, what a comeback!’

Band picks –

Adrianne Lenker – Symbol:

‘We recently saw Adrianne play at YES, Manchester, and it was absolutely stunning. This song, in particular, stood out.’

Rozi Plain – Symmetrical:

‘We’ve loved Rozi Plain for a while now. We’re big fans of what she does with This Is The Kit, as well as her solo material. Recently we’ve been quite focused on keeping our writing simple and effective, and this new song is a perfect example of this.’

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